Vine Hill Ranch 2018 VHR Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley



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98 Points Vinous - The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is magnificent. Of all the vintages in this vertical, the 2018 is the one that is the most surprising because of the weight and richness that it has gained over the last two years. The 2018 marries the voluptuousness fruit of 2012 with the darkness and structure of years like 2013 and 2016, making it one of the most complete wines made here thus far. I started tasting the component wines very early but did not expect the 2018 to grow into the wine it has. In a word: magnificent.

98 Points Jeb Dunnuck - Showing brilliantly, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon VHR is a thrilling, magical Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that offers a sensational bouquet of pure crème de cassis, graphite, white flowers, spring flowers, and subtle smoke and crushed stone. As with most 2018s, in has a dense purple color, full-bodied richness, building yet ripe, polished tannins, and a great finish. Certainly no dainty wine, it’s one of those powerful yet perfectly balanced Cabernet Sauvignons that has the fruit and texture to drink well even today yet will have 30 or 40, if not 50 years of longevity.

Tucked along the wooded hills of the Mayacamas Mountain Range in Oakville, Vine Hill Ranch is a culmination of the Phillips family’s evolution from grape-growing to winemaking over three generations. Years of traversing vineyard rows and caring for each of Vine Hill Ranch’s seven blocks have imbued a deep understanding of our estate vineyard’s unique characteristics. “To produce a true wine of place, we take a minimal touch approach to winemaking: harvesting at optimal ripeness, meticulous sorting of fruit, cold-soaking, extended maceration, use of native yeast and new French oak barrels. Grapes from VHR’s selected blocks are vinified as separate lots to promote the full expression of the vineyard.” In 1993, Winemaker Françoise joined Araujo Estate, soon stepping into the role of winemaker. The reputation of the Phillips family’s determination to craft a wine of place from the estate vineyard drew Françoise to VHR in 2008. She collaborates closely in the field with vineyard manager, Michael Wolf, to cultivate a wine that is dynamic, powerful and elegant—a soulful expression of the site.

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